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Author Topic: The 201X Health Improvement Thread  (Read 16667 times)
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PeteRock
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« Reply #120 on: February 18, 2012, 12:06:01 AM »

Quote from: kratz on February 17, 2012, 11:55:55 PM

Have you tried doing core focused workouts a couple times a week?

I'd certainly agree, as I've done a ton to strengthen my core and lower back and it has helped my ongoing back pain considerably.  It's not gone, but mainly because I jacked up my back in a car accident when I was 18 and it'll never be quite "right" again, but the strength I've built up in my core has done a world of good. 

But I'd recommend core-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats, barbell bench press, and standing overhead shoulder presses (compound movements) as they do more for your overall core than isolation movements like crunches or back extensions. 
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« Reply #121 on: February 18, 2012, 05:44:04 AM »

Quote from: PeteRock on February 18, 2012, 12:06:01 AM

Quote from: kratz on February 17, 2012, 11:55:55 PM

Have you tried doing core focused workouts a couple times a week?

I'd certainly agree, as I've done a ton to strengthen my core and lower back and it has helped my ongoing back pain considerably.  It's not gone, but mainly because I jacked up my back in a car accident when I was 18 and it'll never be quite "right" again, but the strength I've built up in my core has done a world of good. 

But I'd recommend core-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats, barbell bench press, and standing overhead shoulder presses (compound movements) as they do more for your overall core than isolation movements like crunches or back extensions. 

I've been trying to focus there, but it's been really difficult.  I'm fully aware that lack of core strength is a big part of the problem, but have yet to find any core exercises that don't leave me in massive amounts of pain and/or essentially immobilize me.  Still trying to find something that I can do without feeling like I need to curl up in a fetal position to recover.
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« Reply #122 on: February 18, 2012, 06:02:44 AM »

I imagine you have been to a chiropractor?
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« Reply #123 on: February 18, 2012, 07:32:44 AM »

There are lots of core exercises that don't require lifting weights or crunches to be effective, either.
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« Reply #124 on: February 18, 2012, 12:45:16 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on February 18, 2012, 05:44:04 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on February 18, 2012, 12:06:01 AM

Quote from: kratz on February 17, 2012, 11:55:55 PM

Have you tried doing core focused workouts a couple times a week?

I'd certainly agree, as I've done a ton to strengthen my core and lower back and it has helped my ongoing back pain considerably.  It's not gone, but mainly because I jacked up my back in a car accident when I was 18 and it'll never be quite "right" again, but the strength I've built up in my core has done a world of good. 

But I'd recommend core-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats, barbell bench press, and standing overhead shoulder presses (compound movements) as they do more for your overall core than isolation movements like crunches or back extensions. 

I've been trying to focus there, but it's been really difficult.  I'm fully aware that lack of core strength is a big part of the problem, but have yet to find any core exercises that don't leave me in massive amounts of pain and/or essentially immobilize me.  Still trying to find something that I can do without feeling like I need to curl up in a fetal position to recover.

It sounds like it's more than just a strength issue, especially if core exercises cause you such severe pain.  It's unfortunate that your doctors haven't found an actual problem and merely attribute it to "getting older," but I think your intention to find a new doctor is a good one.  My first doctor I saw for my shoulder pain just attributed it to a pinched nerve, prescribed an anti-inflammatory, and advised rest.  With zero improvement I saw a new doctor and he is the one who actually discovered the problem I listed earlier in the thread.

I have general discomfort from "getting older," especially with lifting four days a week and six softball games a week not including tournaments, but there's a difference between "aches and pains" and pain from injury or a problem.

Good luck and hopefully it isn't something severe but also at least something that can be remedied. 
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« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2012, 03:51:10 PM »

After my schedule being so goofy this week, I finally got back to the gym for the first time since Monday.  Back/biceps day.  Moved up to four working sets of deadlifts at 225lbs and even did two single-rep sets of 245lbs to gauge my strength.  Also did four sets of pull-ups with a 25lb weight strapped to my waist (I always wondered why I couldn't do pull-ups when I was fatter - that extra 25lbs is heavy), moved up to 135lbs for barbell bent-over rows, and finished with dumbbell curls and planks.  Did a little cardio too to round out my workout.  Was planning to go again tomorrow but I may need a recovery day after going to heavy today.  I really want that 200lb squat and will need enough rest and fuel to do so.
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« Reply #126 on: February 19, 2012, 07:30:54 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on February 18, 2012, 05:44:04 AM

Quote from: PeteRock on February 18, 2012, 12:06:01 AM

Quote from: kratz on February 17, 2012, 11:55:55 PM

Have you tried doing core focused workouts a couple times a week?

I'd certainly agree, as I've done a ton to strengthen my core and lower back and it has helped my ongoing back pain considerably.  It's not gone, but mainly because I jacked up my back in a car accident when I was 18 and it'll never be quite "right" again, but the strength I've built up in my core has done a world of good.  

But I'd recommend core-focused exercises like deadlifts, squats, barbell bench press, and standing overhead shoulder presses (compound movements) as they do more for your overall core than isolation movements like crunches or back extensions.  

I've been trying to focus there, but it's been really difficult.  I'm fully aware that lack of core strength is a big part of the problem, but have yet to find any core exercises that don't leave me in massive amounts of pain and/or essentially immobilize me.  Still trying to find something that I can do without feeling like I need to curl up in a fetal position to recover.


I wrote something in Board Express and it was somehow lost.

Core strength has a lot of balance in it. I'd suggest doing several things:

Stretch your cervical spine. stand against a wall or post, but not leaning. Your shoulder-blades and back of head should be touching, but not your ass, low back or feet. You should be standing, not leaning. While maintaining that position, as slow as you can, slide your head so that your chin moves towards the ceiling. Once you reach the top of the FROM (full range of motion), head back down the bottom. Your head should NOT leave the wall/post, so if your chin is touching your clavicle at the bottom, you're doing it wrong. smile

You may notice your movement is jerky, this is due to nerve pathways being pinched due to posture issues. It will improve. Think of it as an analog stick that goes from having 25 steps between points A-B, and by going to a chiropractor as well as these excercises, it should increase to 75 steps (where your micro-movement control vastly improves).

I do this between sets as my rest period, and do it a total of 2-4 times per workout (so its not EVERY rest period).


I would also suggest performing some workouts on a ball (as a bridge) rather than doing it on a bench (DB flies, for instance, where your feet are on the ground, your shoulderblades are on a ball, and you use your core to maintain your body being parallel to the floor).

You could also do planks (pushup position, and go down on your elbows instead of hands - remain straight for 60 seconds x 3 sets) You can also plank on a ball, which adds to your balancing.

Simple changes to improve core strength and balance are things like doing curls, tricep press, shoulder / lat raises while standing on a Bosu.

You can also do decline skullcrushers, and pull-ups (which REALLY hit your core, believe it or not).
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 07:33:19 PM by Purge » Logged

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« Reply #127 on: February 20, 2012, 01:55:26 PM »

Most of your "core exercises" shouldn't involve any movement. In truth your core is mostly intended for stabilization. Planks should make up the majority of any work you do with your core. Front planks, reverse planks, side planks. Hold them for increasing amounts of time as your strength improves. Situps mostly work your hip flexors, which are important, but are not your abdominal muscles slywink
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« Reply #128 on: February 20, 2012, 03:16:02 PM »

Russian twists hit your core. Tongue so do leg lifts on a ball. Like CRAZY. biggrin
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« Reply #129 on: February 20, 2012, 04:53:09 PM »

Got my 300lb deadlift this morning. headbang Feels good man.  I likely won't keep pushing the weight up, and instead focus on trying to up my rep range a bit to about 5-6 per set.  Also time to get back in control of the diet and cut out the junky carbs.  I'm still around 285 on the squat but I don't think that's going to make it over the 300lb line any time soon.  285 still feels incredibly heavy and I have a terrible time actually getting properly low on the reps.  I'll probably have to lower the weight to refocus on form there before pushing up significantly.
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« Reply #130 on: February 21, 2012, 05:46:35 PM »

Nicely done kathode. I haven't tested any of my maxes in a long time. Last time I did (2 years ago?) I pulled a 285 deadlift.

Bumped the weights up again yesterday. Doing 2 circuits of barbell squat (180x7), barbell bench (175x5), deadlift (235x5) and chins (2 chins, 6 negatives) with 1.5 minute rest between moves, 3 minutes between circuits. Up till last week the weight was fairly easy to move. Shit's starting to get real now. I'm looking forward to getting my squat and bench up above 200 for reps.
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« Reply #131 on: February 21, 2012, 05:56:38 PM »

Quote from: tiktokman on February 21, 2012, 05:46:35 PM

Nicely done kathode. I haven't tested any of my maxes in a long time. Last time I did (2 years ago?) I pulled a 285 deadlift.

Nice.  I managed 285 a while back when I was doing Starting Strength, but I had bad form.  Lately I've focused more on form than weight and have made sure to increase slowly.  SS had me moving up too quickly and my joints paid the price.  I recently pulled 245 after four working sets of 225 and hope to move up my working set weight again this week.

Quote
I'm looking forward to getting my squat and bench up above 200 for reps.

Today is my leg/shoulder day, so I'm planning to give 200 a try on squats and after picking up new wraps for my hands I want to see if I can move past 245 on shrugs.  Unfortunately the nerve problems I'm having seem to really hinder my bench so it is the most deficient of my lifts.  I handled 155 pretty well last time and hope to use 160 for my working sets, but it has been really slow going.  My shoulder is really holding me back.   icon_frown

My leg/shoulder day is my favorite workout, anyway, so I'm looking forward to this afternoon.  Being on a high from yesterday's pharmacy school acceptance might help my PR attempts as well.   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #132 on: February 21, 2012, 06:20:58 PM »

My arms are too small. frown

I used to curl 135 on a straight bar for 3x6-8reps.

Back to it, slacker! drillsergeant
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« Reply #133 on: February 21, 2012, 10:44:48 PM »

Looks like my brains have once again been getting in the way of my brawn.  Back while doing Starting Strength I crapped out at 195lbs in squats.  Today I did two working sets at 190, two sets at 195, AND I broke my prior PR and did a set of 5 reps at 200lbs.  I've also had grip problems with my shrugs, having my grip fail before my traps.  I picked up new wrist wraps and shot past my prior PR of 245lbs and did two working sets of 275lbs.

My body is pretty beat after my workout, but in a good way.  As I had too much homework yesterday to truly celebrate my pharmacy school acceptance, it'll be happening tonight with a special dinner and a fair bit of drinking.  And it'll taste pretty damn good after today's PRs.   
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« Reply #134 on: February 22, 2012, 03:50:53 PM »

I got 4sets of 8reps @ 80lb on a standing BB curl.

Weak. frown

I guess it doesn't help that my right shoulder was strained from the shoulder presses last week, or the back pain since injuring it during straight-legged deadlifts.

Went to mein Chiropraktiker, who did some NASTY adjustments. My back feels way better, as does my shoulder. Now it only hurts in certain positions. He said I should drop 25% of the weight until it recovers, and if my arm starts shaking to immediately stop.

In a shoulder press, it hurts if my elbow falls below my shoulder, and it would be screaming in pain if I attempted cuban presses. (especially at the bottom of the rep)

Circuits for me today. Or perhaps some plyometrics that leave my shoulder the fu** alone. slywink
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« Reply #135 on: February 22, 2012, 06:01:04 PM »

Quote from: Purge on February 21, 2012, 06:20:58 PM

I used to curl 135 on a straight bar for 3x6-8reps.

Will y'all please quit making me feel like such a wimp?
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« Reply #136 on: February 22, 2012, 08:07:18 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on February 22, 2012, 06:01:04 PM

Quote from: Purge on February 21, 2012, 06:20:58 PM

I used to curl 135 on a straight bar for 3x6-8reps.

Will y'all please quit making me feel like such a wimp?

I was a big fat guy. I used to eat donuts by the dozen --- that required strength. biggrin Now I'm at half that. I got through 3 supersets today of bicep curls.

Hammer-DB curl-spider curl @30lbs each (6 of each on each hand), then Hammer-DB curl @ 45 x 7 reps each hand x 2.

Didn't even make the arms sore. I didn't want to do arms today, but my lumbar was not happy with the idea of lying down.

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« Reply #137 on: February 24, 2012, 03:53:42 PM »


And another week in the books. Had a hard time getting motivated to lift this morning. Had a couple beers at band practice last night and felt it this morning. I don't drink much at all anymore so it only takes a few to make me feel it.

I sucked it up and hit the basement. By the last set of chin-ups I was pretty shaky. Bumping everything up again by 5lbs on Monday.
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« Reply #138 on: February 24, 2012, 05:06:02 PM »

As yesterday was my chest/triceps day I thought I'd try dumbbells as I've been focusing on barbell exercises and wanted to see how I measure up to where I once was back when I did more DB work. 

Years ago when I was about 20 pounds heavier (certainly not in terms of muscle) I was able to handle 70-lb DBs as an all-time high.  Yesterday I did four working sets of 70's, but being 20 pounds leaner than my "fluffy" days I'd say my strength has come a long way.  Never in my life have I been able to bench my weight in DBs, so a goal in the next few weeks is to get up to 75's to bench my weight in four working sets.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to hit a new high in DLs.  Then an all-day softball tournament on Sunday. 
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« Reply #139 on: February 24, 2012, 05:12:41 PM »

Cripes, I thought you said biceps, and that you were curling 70lb DBs.

At my best I could handle 65's, and it was a far cry from 4x8.

I think I could squeak by with 55's for 2, maybe 3 sets of 4-6.

Maybe I'll try today. biggrin
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« Reply #140 on: February 24, 2012, 05:42:48 PM »

Quote from: Purge on February 24, 2012, 05:12:41 PM

Cripes, I thought you said biceps, and that you were curling 70lb DBs.

Quote from: PeteRock on February 24, 2012, 05:06:02 PM

As yesterday was my chest/triceps day... 

Nah, I usually do two sets of 30's, then two sets of 35's for bicep curls, and they typically follow a heavy back workout so I've already hammered my biceps before even getting to curls.  I try to hit somewhere around 5 to 8 reps, getting closer to 5 or 6 on my last set.  And after bent over barbell rows, weighted pull-ups, and deadlifts, DB curls take all of what little I have left.

Quote
At my best I could handle 65's, and it was a far cry from 4x8.

I think I could squeak by with 55's for 2, maybe 3 sets of 4-6.

Maybe I'll try today. biggrin

This week I'm hoping to get to using 35's for all four working sets, and I might even try 40 on an additional 5th set for a few reps just to see if I can do it. 

I'm moving around higher weight now at 150lbs than back when I lifted regularly in Philly and weighed 25 pounds heavier.  Maybe I'm just more dense.   icon_wink
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« Reply #141 on: February 24, 2012, 06:47:31 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on February 24, 2012, 05:06:02 PM

Never in my life have I been able to bench my weight in DBs.

I've always wanted to try, but don't dare without a spotter.  I really need someone to work out with...  frown 
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« Reply #142 on: February 25, 2012, 03:16:18 AM »

I don't know if my gym has 125lb DB.

I managed 3sets of circuits, finishing each with 7 reps of 55lb DB curls.

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« Reply #143 on: February 25, 2012, 03:59:32 PM »

What a shitty start to the weekend.  Well, at least Friday night started okay.  Our softball double-header was against a tough team, and in the first game we went into the bottom of the last inning tied and I was the lead-off hitter.  Cracked a double, and the next batter hit me home to win by 1.  In the 2nd game we were down through most of the game and then eventually tied it up.  During our next two series in the field we held them from scoring, and in the top of the last inning I hit an in-the-park homerun to put us up one.  We then had to hold them, and I was able to make two out of the three outs and we once again won by 1.  It was pretty exciting to make the necessary plays as a team when the games were on the line.

Then things started to go downhill.  We had the late games last night, so we played from 8:30pm until 10:30pm.  Despite having hopes of going to the gym this morning, we all decided to go out for a few drinks to celebrate our victories.  We didn't get home until 1:30am and I more or less resigned myself to taking an additional day of rest.  But rest would not be in my future, as my pinched nerve caused me so much pain and discomfort that I could not find a single comfortable position to sleep in.  So around 4:30am I just gave up on sleep, made a pot of coffee, and waited for the gym to open at 6am.  Due to the lack of sleep I wasn't hungry, but I probably should have tried to stuff at least something down my maw.  Instead my workout was fasted and fasted workouts can sod off as far as I'm concerned.

My workout started well enough, but by the time I started deadlifts I could feel my endurance crapping out pretty quickly.  I managed to do four working sets of 225, then pulled three reps of 245, but failed miserably on 265.  I was just completely spent and only barely managed to get the weight off the floor.  Despite how much weight I had already lifted, it still left me pretty disappointed.  I also learned that if you scream "FUCK!" at yourself in the mirror after such a failure the people foam rolling nearby move to a new location MUCH farther away. 

After my DL fail the rest of my workout felt like a drag.  I had zero energy and really had to struggle my way through the rest of it.  No more fasted workouts for me.  Despite Friday's big softball victories and still turning in a pretty good workout, that 265 failure is really chapping my ass.   disgust
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« Reply #144 on: February 25, 2012, 04:36:46 PM »

Here's some interesting reading on fueling... it's focused on endurance athletes, not lifters, so it doesn't totally translate, but it made a big difference for me in how I think about fueling for the endurance stuff I like to do... I no longer have breakfast the morning of a big race until I've actually been on the bike for 30 - 45 minutes, and I can feel a marked difference in how hard I can put out as a result.  Pretty surprising.  I imagine your workouts aren't that long though, so eating probably is helping you.

http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledge/proper-fueling-pre-workout-amp-race-suggestions.1279.html?sect=advanced-knowledge-section

They have a bunch of good reading on their site... they are obviously trying to sell their products as well, but the information is sound, at least from an endurance perspective.

Speaking of... I just got back from my first 4 mile run.  Went well!
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« Reply #145 on: February 25, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »

Odds are it was more the lack of sleep than the lack of fuel causing my struggles.  But, I've found that when comparing my fasted lifts with eating 1 1/2 to 2 hours prior to my workout, my fueled workouts give me more endurance when getting to my last few accessory lifts.  My last few working sets of my heavy stuff are usually more productive as well.  Still, three hours of sleep after two hours of softball and a bit of drinking didn't do me any favors.  And, ultimately I turned in a pretty decent workout given the conditions.  Hell, even if ignoring the conditions.  I'm just cranky after failing to DL 265.
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« Reply #146 on: February 27, 2012, 01:27:39 AM »

Played in yet another softball tournament today (something like our 10th since June), and after taking 2nd or worse so many times, today we FINALLY TOOK FIRST PLACE!  I was put at the "hot corner", and after playing shortstop for so long it was an adjustment, but because the ball comes so fast and hard I don't have enough time to let my brain screw up my fielding.  And it was six straight hours of softball without a break, and it was in the high 80's.  Body is a little sad right now, and slightly dehydrated. 

It just feels good to finally win our first tournament after playing in so many.   icon_biggrin

Now where's the Aleve and Coors.   The drink that never ends.
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« Reply #147 on: February 27, 2012, 03:35:20 AM »

Ok Im going to wrestle this tread back from all the muscle heads for a bit. 

 My journey has reached the half way point in both time and weight.  I started out at 249 and 10 weeks in I have lost a total of 42 lbs.  I struggled a bit at first until I mentally separated want from need, quit using excuses like slow metabolism ( of course it was slow I was fat and lazy! ) and focused an doing myself the biggest favor ever.  I am now never hungry and have become used to how to eat properly instead of constantly.
 I am not "dieting" per se, I am changing my way of living.  This is important because dieting is eventually self defeating.  People either usually give up or they reach a goal and then go back to the habits that got them fat prior to their diet. They are on a never ending rollercoaster and cant understand why they cant stay slim. If you dont make permanent change, then you cant expect permanent weight loss. 
 I allow my self to indulge occasionally because I know depriving my self is self defeating and will eventually lead to bingeing.  If theres a day I want a burger and fries I go for it, but I understand that I cant do that often so I give my self one day a week to have that meal.  I dont indulge myself every week and when I have lately, I cant even eat all of the meal.  I got a burger and fries at a cafe last week. By the time I had eaten half of the 1/3 lb burger I was full.  I threw away over half the fries, I just didnt have room for them.  The other half burger went to my very appreciative dog.  I eat 3 meals a day with the occasional fruit for a snack if needed.  I never eat more than a 400 calorie dinner. and I probably average 1100 t0 1200 calories a day with out being hungry. I have maintained a steady loss of about 4 lbs a week and feel great doing it.  I wont lie to you, there are sacrifices to be made but none of what Ive given up was ever good for me.  Pop, chips basic snack "foods" are gone.  4 lbs a week may not seem like a lot, but you have to accept that slow and steady win the game and when you do it this way you develope the habits that will keep you where you want to be.

Im not here to brag.  I AM proud of myself, if someone had told me that I would be 42 pounds lighter today, 2 1/2 months ago, I would have laughed in their face. I never thought I could drop this much weight and that was part of the problem.
  But as I said Im not here to brag, Im here to tell you that it can be done.  Im living proof and if I can do this anyone can. Its not easy at the start but it does get easy after a few weeks when new habits set in.  You have to believe you can do it and commit to it.  Half measures dont work. You dont need fad diets, you need to adjust your thinking and commit to accepting what is basically common sense.  And dont think youre too old either because I aint no spring chicken.  Get past that first hump and you will be amazed at yourself.  I know because I am. 
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wonderpug
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« Reply #148 on: February 27, 2012, 03:46:19 AM »

Way to go, rshetts!  Sounds like you've been going about this with a great mindset, and 4 lbs a week does sound like a lot!  Be sure to pat yourself on the back when you get below 200 in a few weeks!

What's been your ways of not feeling hungry with 1100-1200 calories a day?
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rshetts2
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« Reply #149 on: February 27, 2012, 10:39:24 AM »

Thanks, Wonderpug.
A lot of it has been understanding the mechanisms of hunger and  ( and I cant stress this enough ) differentiating between want and need.  Recognizing that some urges to eat are not hunger but in fact boredom or just plain bad habit, helps.  If I absolutely feel the need to snack now I keep what for me is the perfect snack food.  I get dried Travesre City cherries from Amazon.  Think raisins, only plumper and tastier.  A small handful of these works to kill that munch craving for me.
  Slowing down the process while eating has also done wonders.   During a meal, I set my fork down between each bite and chew far longer than I ever have.  The natural digestive timer your body has will kick in for most people between 15 - 20 minutes, and you will feel full as your body starts doing the digestive work on what youve eaten.  During that window you can either shovel food down like a madman or pace yourself.  Either way you will feel full, but slowing down cuts the caloric intake down substantially.  It seems too simple, just slow down to lose weight, but it really does work.   Naturally, it is easier after a few weeks because your body will adjust to the change in habits and your stomach will shrink as well making it harder to over eat.

Its amazing, this change in my health and even my mental state.  I feel so much better and so much better about myself.  I truly wish I had found the will to do this earlier but now that I know how to deal with this and how to maintain myself, I WILL NEVER BE FAT AGAIN!  I feel way too good to go back.

ps: This past weekend I had two rather attractive girls at work compliment me.  That hasnt happen in decades and thats a big 1 up to the old self image.

Oh one more thing Ive changed.  I drink lots of water.  I hydrate constantly.  Ive cut down my consumption of sodas ( I drink coke zero occasionally ) and replaced it with water. That has also been a huge help.
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Crux
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« Reply #150 on: February 27, 2012, 01:39:45 PM »

Dude, 4 lbs a week is huge. That's one of the biggest sustained weight loss rates I've ever heard of without surgery biggrin Great job!
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« Reply #151 on: February 27, 2012, 03:26:52 PM »


Right on rshetts. Yeah, 4 lbs a week is huge.


Upping the weights this morning wasn't as hard as I feared it would be. The first set of squats at 185 was a little scary but once I was in the groove everything felt great. The second set was butter. Last week my grip on the 235 deadlifts was weak but 240 this week was no problem.
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« Reply #152 on: February 27, 2012, 05:15:53 PM »

4 lbs a week is KILLER.  When I dropped my weight I was doing about 13lbs a month, so you are outdoing me.

That is a really low number of calories... are you not exercising at all?
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tiktokman
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« Reply #153 on: February 27, 2012, 07:33:44 PM »


Here's a good essay by a forum member at Training Anarchy. Dude is 63 and his deadlift makes me look like a pussy. If I recall correctly he didn't get into lifting until he was in his 50's. Re-posted with his permission.

Mahlerís Monday Morning Motivator # 373 Ė The Scapegoat Theory

The Scapegoat Theory (02-27-12)

If you sit in front of the television for any period of time, you will surely be treated, sooner or later, to some sort of infomercial touting a product or program that will literally change your life. After all, if it doesnít change your life, what good is it? When was the last time you heard an announcer say that a product would probably work, but not for everyone and you might end up wasting your money? No. Not this product. Never. It will change your life and possibly the universe as we know it. And the price is almost always $19.99. Just donít plan on paying that. The shipping and handling is going to kill you.

I have this theory about fitness products, programs and, perhaps, about life in general. Granted, this theory brings out a little of my own negativity about human nature, so you can start by taking it with a grain of salt, or dismiss it as just one more rant from the grinch of the gym. My theory is that sometimes we begin programs, buy products and attempt changes only because somewhere down the road we can use those products, those experiences and encounters as a reason to justify our failures and our excuse for not trying again. Itís kind of a transference of blame.

How often have you heard someone say something like ďoh, Iíve tried that diet and it didnít work. Nothing works for me.Ē You may also have heard an even more common complaint such as ďI bought that (insert product name here) and it was a piece of crap. It didnít do anything for me.Ē Please, dear friends, tell me that you didnít actually think that a cheap piece of metal or plastic was going to sculpt you into an Aphrodite or Adonis? A product with a name like Butt-Twister, Boob-Blaster or Thigh-Thinner is not, in this lifetime, likely to change anything but the balance in your bank account. These things have, however, provided one very important tool in the arsenal. Now we have an excuse to dismiss anything that comes along, and indeed, any fitness endeavor. After all, weíve tried things and they didnít work, so by extension of that line of reasoning, nothing works, at least for me that is. Now, push, push! Breathe! Push! There you go. We have given birth to our own spanking new, personal scapegoat. We have provided ourselves with a little bundle of joy that will excuse us from ever trying again.

Now, hereís a pleasant thought. We can save the $19.99 plus shipping and handling and create our own home grown scapegoat. All we need is a sprained ankle, a pulled muscle, or a sore back; any body part will do. Forget that there are any number of things we can do to overcome or work around these setbacks. We now have a scapegoat that we can use to eschew any and all strenuous physical activity. Yipee!

Quite frankly, if you are looking for an excuse to quit or perhaps not even start a fitness regimen, you are likely to find one somewhere. Itís not hard and can often be done at no cost to you. No cost, in dollars and cents that is, but the price for using that scapegoat can be very dear. Examine your motives. Is the reason you canít make a change because nothing works, or because a lot of the things that work, you simply havenít tried? And what can be even worse, is the reason nothing works for you because you donít work for you?

___________________
Copyright 2004-2012 John R. Gesselberty. Mahler's Monday Morning Motivators (MMMM) may not be copied or used without permission of the author. All rights reserved.
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rshetts2
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« Reply #154 on: February 27, 2012, 10:17:30 PM »

Tiktokman, That article sums up one of the biggest hurdles anyone faces, the mental one.  You have to fight the urge to accept excuses and get past them because its very easy to convince yourself.  Thats why I think that changing the way I think about things is every bit as important as changing how and what I eat.  Your own mind can be your worst enemy but it can also be your greatest ally, you just have to know what you want and have the conviction and strength of will to achieve it.  It is definitely easier said than done but if you can recognize your self defeating behavior and thoughts then you can take control.  My one example was the dreaded "slow metabolism"  What a perfect excuse to not lose weight,  I cant because my body just wont let me.  It seriously pisses me off that I fell for that for so long.  I was a weak minded fool falling for my own Jedi Mind trick.  Beating that mind set has been a very good experience and has effected me far more than just in weight loss. 
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kratz
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« Reply #155 on: February 27, 2012, 11:11:53 PM »

Yeah, the change in mindset is so, so key... realizing what you are capable of when you just get out and start DOING it is pretty great, and transfers over to so many other areas.
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« Reply #156 on: February 29, 2012, 06:32:35 AM »

Time for a brief musclehead interruption before returning to your regularly scheduled weight loss program.  Despite having to cut my workout short to meet a professor friend for a drink, I put up one of my highest point totals yet with 1928.  When you start moving some heavy stuff around the points add up pretty quickly.  I managed a number of personal bests, including 205 in squats, 185 in stiff-legged deadlifts, and 275 in shrugs.  I did one set of 115 in standing barbell overhead shoulder presses, but had to dial it back to 105 to keep proper form.  Still more than I was doing with dumbbells. 

Tomorrow I see a neck/spine specialist with my MRI films to address my pinched nerve issue.  We'll see what happens.
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« Reply #157 on: February 29, 2012, 06:53:32 AM »

I just found this thread and browsed through it. Great idea. I need to start changing things drastically. I'm about to turn 36, I smoke A pack a day, drink roughly 6 beers a day, and eat like I want to die. I will not stop eating until all food is gone... Wow, I'm a loser.slywink funny part is, I'm all but 165lb... Beer belly not good though.
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« Reply #158 on: March 01, 2012, 03:43:26 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on February 29, 2012, 06:32:35 AM

Tomorrow I see a neck/spine specialist with my MRI films to address my pinched nerve issue.  We'll see what happens.

The MRI verified degenerative disc disease with compression between C5/C6 and C6/C7, impingement of the C6 and C7 nerve roots, and herniation of the C6/C7 disc.  Part of the problem is genetic, but my issues also stem from some kind of injury, although they weren't able to pinpoint exactly what.  The main concern right now is remedying the mechanical impingement as irreversible nerve damage could result.

Initially they had wanted to give me an anti-inflammatory shot through my neck and into my spine, perhaps two if necessary.   icon_eek   But, that was primarily to alleviate pain and swelling right away and to free the impinged nerves more quickly.  My 2nd option, which is a bit less intrusive, is to try physical therapy three days a week and an oral anti-inflammatory every day for the next month.  If after this period progress is limited or unsuccessful, then we have to revisit direct injection of an anti-inflammatory. 

At least for now as long as I can manage the pain I can continue with my lifting/fitness regiment and competitive softball.  Surgery won't be discussed as an option until physical therapy and anti-inflammatory injections fail to solve the problem. 

It can be frustrating to take such an active role in personal fitness only to have elements outside of my control undermine my strength, quality of life, and overall health.   disgust
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rshetts2
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« Reply #159 on: March 01, 2012, 03:53:24 PM »

Damn,  sorry to hear that PR.  I have back issues  ( chronic pain ) due to years of physical labor and know how difficult it can be to deal with.  I wish you the best and hope there is something they can do to reverse the damage.  Good Luck!
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